TRL District Tournament Results
May 19, 2010By Doug Brewer of Lakeridge High School
The Lakeridge boys tennis team made a good showing at the TRL district tennis tournament. The tournament was held May 6th and 7th at the Portland Tennis Center. The top four singles players and the top four doubles teams from the TRL district tournament have the honor of competing in the state tennis tournament.
The Pacers sent 15 players to the tournament: Ben Brewer, Evan Brown, Zach Calo, Michael Chen, Chris Deal, Jackson Grove, Chris Hamilton, Charlie Kachel, Samir Kadkade, Jake Lautze, Charlie Layton, Sam Manning, Eric Roessler, Ben Silbert, and Matt Stockamp.
Ben Brewer was given the 6th seed in the tournament draw for singles competition. When the third seed from West Linn had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury it meant that Ben would not have to face a seeded player until after the state qualifying round. Brewer won his first three matches and ended up finishing fourth in the tournament.
Michael Chen and Zach Calo were the 5th seeded doubles team in the tournament. Having won their first two matches, the team awaited the outcome of a match between a West Linn team and the third seeded team from Oregon City. West Linn won in three tough sets to set up the battle for the final state qualifying spot for doubles. Chen and Calo won the first set 6-2 but fell behind 4-1 in the second set. After a visit from Coach Andy Hunt, the Pacer pair went on to win the final five games of the match to post a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
Samir Kadkade and Evan Brown shook off a disappointing first round loss and set their sights on being a force in the consolation bracket. The Pacer team won all their first three matches by identical 8-4 scores. They went into the three-set consolation finals as the solid favorites; however the Clackamas team they faced was not going to go away without a fight. Kadkade and Brown were out of sync at first and fell meekly in the first set 2-6. The Pacers were able to recover and won the final two sets 6-2 and 6-3 to capture the consolation doubles title.
Charlie Layton lost a tough first round match, but if he had won he would have faced the three-time state singles champion Zhenya Pereversin in the second round. Instead Layton took his counter-punching skills to the consolation singles bracket. Charlie won his first two consolation matches with relative ease, setting up a battle with LO's Jack Mertens.
Mertens played as high as third singles for LO's varsity squad during the year while Layton was the Pacer's top JV player. Both players are known for their ability to wear down their competition by getting back everything their opponents can dish out. Layton won the battle of the human backboards with a 9-7 victory in a pro set that lasted longer than most of the three set matches that were going on simultaneously in the championship semi-final round. The match featured some rallies that had to approach 60 strokes or more.
Both players were exhausted at the completion of the match. The good news for Layton was that he would be playing in the consolation final; the bad news was that the final would be a best of three set affair and not a pro set.
The final was again a battle of retrievers. Layton won the first set 6-3, but could not sustain his momentum in the second set and the Oregon City player won it 3-6. Mercifully the coaches and the tournament director decided that a 10-point match tiebreak would decide the final rather than a complete third set. The tiebreak was a see-saw affair in which each player held and subsequently lost seemingly insurmountable leads. Somehow Layton was able to muster enough energy to hang on for the victory!
The results had Lakeridge place 4th in singles and doubles in the championship bracket and win the singles and doubles consolation brackets. A very satisfying finish for the TRL champion Pacers.
Good luck to Ben Brewer, Michael Chen, and Zach Calo in the state tournament. The competition starts May 20th at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.